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Poetry: History


Emperor of Jade

Jade is not fractured by steel,
and yet, the minute application
of water and sand can shape it
to a master's patient hand.
Nor is a man reduced by force,
but the daily interaction of
anger and pettiness can erode
his honour, and corrode his heart.

Speak to me not of endurance, nor
of the beauty of graven stone.

Luminous jade is not hollowed
by strength, and yet, a thin,
persistent thread can empty
its form of content. A man
is not emptied by challenge or
grief, but the unceasing depletion
of unreplenished dignity
can form of him a vessel devoid
of meaning or intent.

Speak to me not of accommodation, nor
of the perfection in a master's eye.

Jade is not fractured, a man is not
reduced, except by sand, and
persistent, small depletions. A man
is not emptied, nor jade hollowed,
except by threads, and the anger of

                Speak to me now
of honour and meaning. Speak to me,
now, of beauty and intent.
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